When you go to Belgium, eating chocolate is an absolute must. However, with the abundance of chocolate shops in the country, it can be both difficult and overwhelming to know where to get genuinely flavourful and handcrafted cocoa delicacies. This is where word-of-mouth comes handy and that’s exactly what I’m here for: to share with you a reliable source for delicious Belgian chocolate. I’m happy to tell you that Sjokolat in Antwerp is just the place.
Antwerp is a short train ride away from Brussels and it makes for an easy day trip. I spent a single day roaming the city streets, and while exploring the historical centre, I passed by an elegant shop that caught my eye instantly. It was bright, sleek, and inviting. When I entered, I was pleasantly surprised by the collection of handmade products available, including truffles, chocolate bars, and nougat.
The main counter in the shop boasts a vast selection of contemporary chocolates that would make up a pretty damn impressive assortment box. The chocolate stock rotates regularly, but you can expect to find flavours like Earl Grey tea, marzipan with pistachio, ganache with fresh candied lemon, hazelnut paste with caramelized sesame, and dark chocolate caramel crunch (to name a few). With such a unique and visually appealing selection of flavours, it’s hard not to want to try it all!
The wall opposite the counter is lined with full sized chocolate bars, many of which catch your eye with a pop of colour. Again, the flavour selection is diverse. As you browse through the shop, it quickly becomes clear that Sjokolat prides itself on finding a balance between classic and unconventional creations. On the one hand, flavours like milk chocolate with caramel or dark chocolate with ginger might warm you with a sense of familiarity. On the other hand, flavours like mango chili, quinoa cranberry or white chocolate with strawberry might cajole you to explore uncharted territory.
As if this weren’t enough, this chocolate wonderland further entices your taste buds with bowls of colourful handmade truffles. I instantly gravitated toward these bowls because the truffles were just so delicious to look at. You can buy pre-packaged assortments of truffles or you can create your own. I opted to create my own selection of 9 truffles and let me tell you, it was hard to choose among them. Again, the flavours may change regularly, but on the day of my visit I had my choice of coconut, hazelnut praline, mocha, strawberry, raspberry, pure cocoa, speculoos, dark chocolate, champagne, almond, cappuccino, and more.
I somehow managed to wait until returning to Edinburgh to eat them and when I did, I slowly savoured each one. The truffles were rich, decadent, and addictive. Each one distinctly tasted like their name flavour – the mocha truffle tasted like a warm espresso, the raspberry truffle tasted like freshly-picked berries, and the cocoa truffle tasted like the earthy bean. The interior of each truffle was silky and smooth and I seriously didn’t want to run out of these chocolatey gems. Although, now that I know they have an online shop, I’m dangerously at risk of spending far more than I should on Belgian chocolate…
At Sjokolat you’ll be tempted by handmade chocolates that prioritize flavour and high quality ingredients over mass production. The chocolates are proudly made without preservatives and great care is afforded to the aesthetic of each morsel of confectionery. The branding is well thought out, the flavours are inventive, and the taste is memorable. If you’re in Antwerp, don’t miss a visit to Sjokolat. I’m genuinely so happy that I chanced across this chocolaterie. Now profit off of my luck by rewarding yourself with these beautiful Belgian chocolates at your nearest opportunity!